Lillian Negueloua Broderick
August 15, 1926 – February 24, 2019
Lillian Negueloua Broderick, beloved and loving mother, grandmother, aunt, friend and teacher, died on February 24, 2019 at the age of 92.
Lillian was born on August 15, 1926 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest of three daughters of Henri Hillaire Negueloua and Lillian Sophie Arnoult. She described her life in New Orleans as “centered on rituals of food, family and faith.” She attended the Sacred Heart Academy and Newcomb College, commuting by trolley from her family home to both. From her youngest days, reading was “a passion, a solace, a way to enter other lives.” That passion eventually took her away from the familiar warmth of New Orleans, first to graduate school in 1947 at the University of North Carolina for her master’s in English literature and then, in 1949, to Harvard where she would earn her doctorate.
In Cambridge she met and fell in love with Jim Broderick also a candidate in the Ph.D. program in English. They married in 1951 and started a family with their first two children being born in 1952 and 1953. After four years in Cambridge, Lillian and her young family moved to New London, Connecticut, where her third child was born in 1956. Devoting herself to raising a young family she put aside work on her dissertation while taking part-time positions teaching Freshman English at Connecticut College and Mitchell College.
In 1960, the family moved again to the Philadelphia Main Line (first Bryn Mawr and then Bala Cynwyd). There, after giving birth to her fourth child, she completed her dissertation, receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1964, and took an adjunct teaching position in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania. When the family moved yet again in 1965, this time to Rochester, New York, while Jim taught full-time at the University of Rochester she took a part-time position there teaching freshman English. A wintry two years in Rochester led to a last move for her family back to the Boston area where they had begun. In 1967, she and Jim with their now five children in tow moved to Auburndale in Newton. They remained there until 2009 when, as retirees, and grandparents several times over, they moved to Brookhaven at Lexington.
In Boston, Lillian returned more fully to her career in academics. She taught at Newton College of the Sacred Heart from 1967 to 1975, the University of Massachusetts at Boston (from 1975 to 1986) and Tufts University where she spent 17 years, first in teaching and then in administration until her retirement in 1993 as a Dean of Undergraduate Life. In retirement, she spent many hours caring for and looking after her young grandchildren. She became a member of the Harvard Institute of Learning in Retirement where she led and participated in a wide range of courses. She also enjoyed trips to Italy, France, England, Greece, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bali and California (Northern and Southern). Her love of reading, learning and teaching continued its expression at Brookhaven where she was an active organizer, presenter and participant in resident-generated talks and classes.
During her 70 years as a Northerner, she kept up the rituals of food and family she had grown up with. She was wonderful cook in the New Orleans tradition, whether serving red beans and rice or, on special occasions, chicken Marengo and oyster patties. As a devoted grandmother, mother and friend she graced the lives of those who knew her. She leaves us richer for our having been with her and poorer for her no longer being with us.
Predeceased by her husband of 65 years in 2016, she is survived by her five children, Jake, Mary, Charlie, Sophie and Ted and her eight grandchildren, Rachel, Sam, Julia, Owen, Lydia, Jimmy, Kate, and Ben.
A memorial and celebration of Lillian’s life well-lived will be held on April 14, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. in the Auditorium at Brookhaven, located at 1010 Waltham Street, Lexington, Massachusetts.